Uses on all other crops will be maintained with some additional label changes, until an orderly product phase-out is completed.

Bayer’s decision on Temik follows a new dietary risk assessment process recently completed by the EPA. Bayer has steadfastly refused to agree with the EPA findings and has not made any public announcement that aldicarb, the active ingredient in Temik poses a food safety risk.

Since it was introduced to the agriculture marketplace by Union Carbide back in the 1970s, Temik has been besieged by human health issues — some real and some not so real.

Even today, a cursory look at Temik health issues will provide one with more websites, links, technical papers and such than could be read in a week of hard reading. 

The Temik human health issues are far from one-sided.

Advocates for Temik, and other pesticides, site study after study that shows no long-term health risks for a number of products under fire from the EPA.

Likewise, anti-pesticide advocates can provide seemingly endless data to prove there are human health risks.                                       

Finding a cost effective, performance reliable replacement for Temik is proving to be a tough challenge. The big question for farmers is whether or not the EPA will do a complete 180 degree turnaround and grant a label for a product they have hounded on human health issues for 40 years.

Representatives from MEY have publicly cited 165 letters from farmers, crop consultants and agri-industry leaders supporting a Federal label for a replacement aldicarb product for Temik. Though impressive, 165 letters is a small drop in the big bucket compared to the volumes of reports generated by the EPA over the past 40 years citing the negative human health impacts from use and/or exposure to Temik. 

Puech is no stranger to bringing in controversial, yet much-needed products to the U.S. market. He was instrumental in bringing into the U.S. glyphosate made in China. In recent years a number of glyphosate-containing herbicides have become available to U.S. farmers, providing a lower cost alternative to Roundup — the original glyphosate herbicide marketed in the U.S.

Puech is likewise no stranger to Temik. He worked for a number of years for Union Carbide, the company that originally brought Temik into the marketplace in the 1970s.

A turnaround by the EPA on their long-standing aldicarb vendetta may prove to be a classic question of being a blessing or a curse.

Once Bayer announced plans to phase out Temik, it seems the whole agriculture chemical industry began ramping up old and new technology for a replacement.             

Getting a new product through development and Federal clearance is a multi-million dollar process. Companies weren’t quick to make that investment to replace a product that had proved effective and relatively inexpensive over such a long period of time.